Sunday, October 2, 2016

WAVES OF MERCY by Lynn Austin

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she's asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

My thoughts...

Waiting for this novel was difficult for me...Lynn Austin writes the best fiction! The stories of Anna and Geesje are I wish the book was twice as long so I could spend more time with these awesome characters. I still think about Geesje's experiences and the wisdom she had.

A wonderful story of what's really important in life. Very inspiring book!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Battling his own inner-demons, Jesse (Rusty Joiner: Last Ounce Of Courage, Dodgeball, “Days of Our Lives”) encounters a young, pregnant teen overcome with grief that, after an impulsive abortion, has her family blaming Jesse for more than just her final decision. Jesse’s wife Julia (Jocelyn Cruz: Strike One, This Is Our Time) must come to terms with her own choices and decide if she can support her husband as opposition mounts against him. Comedian Paul Rodriguez also stars as Virgil with James Russo as Pastor Gil.

My thoughts...

An emotionally powerful film filled with love and faith. Controversial, has a bit of violence which isn't unusual due to the subject matter. Good actors, true to life.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

ALABAMA IRISH by James Russel Lingerfelt

Brian was raised on "the wrong side of the tracks" in inner-city Alabama. Now, at nineteen, with a troubled past and juvenile record, Brian struggles to earn a living and find a life purpose. When he journeys to New York on a chance trip, Brian meets and falls in love with Shannon; a bright eyed, aspiring actress from California.

Brian returns to Alabama stirred by Shannon's courage and passion for life. With a new zest and reason for living, Brian is determined to turn himself into a man worthy of her love. Unable to afford college, Brian discovers the Os Guinness Scholarship, which provides free tuition to Pepperdine University for Irish students who desire to train for Ireland's ministry. With some innovative thinking, Brian fakes his Irish citizenry, accepts the scholarship, and moves to Southern California to attend school and pursue Shannon.

However, when Brian visits Alabama, all the lies come crashing down and Brian comes face to face with a past he thought was finished. Now, Brian must make a choice: lose Shannon by spinning more lies and choosing vengeance in hopes of putting his past to rest. Or choose honesty and forgiveness and embrace a new life with the only woman he ever loved.

Alabama Irish will make us sit back and laugh, then lay the book down and cry. But in the end, we'll be reminded that no matter our pasts, the possibility to find true love again is never lost.

My thoughts...

I found this to be an empowering book, so well written, causing me to stop and think as I read. Taking readers inside a young man's life as he tries to find his place in this world the author totally captures this man's heart and his growth. Relationship, friendship, forgiveness, and the value of each is explored.

I highly recommend this book, you'll find yourself getting immersed in the story and totally captivated by the characters.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


San Francisco, 1975. A single mother, Lux Lysander is overwhelmed, underpaid, and living on the edge of an emotional precipice. When her adored five-year-old son goes away to visit his grandparents, Lux takes a solo trip to Sonoma Valley—a chance to both lose herself and find herself again.

Awakened at midnight, Lux steps outside to see a fog settled over the Sonoma landscape. Wandering toward a point of light in the distance, she emerges into a meadow on a sunny day. There she meets a group of people whose sweetly simple clothing, speech, and manners almost make them seem as if they are from another time.

And then she realizes they are.

Lux has stumbled upon an idyllic community cut off not only from the rest of the world but from time itself. The residents of Greengage tell a stunned and disoriented Lux that they’ve somehow been marooned in the early twentieth century. Now that she has inexplicably stepped into the past, it is not long before Lux is drawn in by its peace and beauty.

Unlike the people of Greengage, Lux discovers that she is able to come and go. And over the years, Lux finds herself increasingly torn between her two lives. Her beloved son is very much a child of the modern world, but she feels continually pulled back to the only place she has ever truly felt at home.

A gorgeous, original, and deeply moving novel about love and longing and the power that time holds over all of us, Valley of the Moon is unforgettable.

My thoughts...

"Valley Of The Moon" is an interesting story of time travel, the story of Lux...a single mom of the sixties trying to make a decent living. She decides to go where her parents are and finds a commune whose citizens are living in the early 1900's. Good plot, however, it does tend to be a bit repetitive and somewhat slow paced but if you can get past that it's overall a good read.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Neil Anderson has traveled the world speaking and teaching, and has written many books. Always at his side, supporting him, has been his wife, Joanne, his partner for over fifty years.

Now Joanne is gripped in a long decline, sinking gradually into agitated dementia. She depends on Neil's presence, even calling him Daddy. He has no training as a nurse, but now for long hours he sits at her bedside and cares for her every need. They do not speak much; conversation is a strain. So Neil has used the silent hours to pray, to spend time in God's presence, and to reflect on what this means.

"I have become keenly aware that God is using Joanne's illness to teach me about the power of presence. I'm learning on a much deeper level the purpose of just being there, and what it means to be still and know that He is God. There is an inexplicable peace that comes from knowing I don't have to 'do' in order to 'be' in God's will--to be in His presence--to be in each other's presence."

"It has been a peaceful time of reflection upon the presence of God, and how that has shaped me, our marriage, and ministry. My theology tells me that God is omnipresent, but we are not always aware of His presence, and yet without His presence we are not fully alive."

My thoughts...

The author shares his experiences in caring for his terminally ill wife and his time in the presence of God during these experiences. Even though we may suffer and grieve while on this earth God is always with us. Holding on to Him is what gets us through these times. I appreciate Anderson's story...the real story with the good and bad. He is an example to the rest of us.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

THE SECOND HALF by Lauraine Snelling

Mona and Ken Sorenson are approaching the best years of their lives. Mona's greatest concern is that Ken will learn of the surprise party she's planning for his retirement from his job as Dean of Students at Stone University. They've already been making plans to travel, spend limitless hours in the garden, and Ken is looking forward to working on his woodworking and fishing with his grandchildren. It's what they deserve after years of careful planning.

But things begin to unravel when Ken learns that office politics are about to destroy his department. Can he really just leave, abandoning the work he spent a lifetime achieving? Mona is eager to build her event planning business with Ken's help, but rather than supporting her, he expresses concern that the stress of the work will send her back into the depression she struggles with. Then, just days before Ken's last official day of work, their son, a Special Forces officer in the Army, learns he's being immediately deployed on a six-month mission in Pakistan. Since his wife left him, the only people he trusts to care for his two young children are his parents. In an instant, everything Ken and Mona spent their lives planning changes, and they will need to find strength, both physical and mental, to become parents once more. This is not the second half they wanted, and when their son fails to contact them as planned, they struggle to trust that it is God's plan, not theirs, that matters most.

My thoughts...

Lauraine Snelling knows how to tell a story...she has been a long time favorite author. I look forward to every new book. In THE SECOND HALF she writes about a couple nearing retirement with plans of travel and enjoying each other to the fullest when their son is deployed and they have grandchildren to raise.

Their lives change and what they thought would be their best years is anything but. I really enjoyed this novel, it's realistic, fast paced, and captivating.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


In a dark and dying world, Eugene Sulke stands on the cusp of his lifelong dream: a promotion, money, and a home in the affluent section of Old Chicago, called the Fortress, where he can watch the sun set over the azaleas. Only one thing stands in his way–his own fear that he is responsible for the terrible conditions his new home would wall him off from.

Caught in a web of intrigue and the warnings of his wife, Eugene could not see the unfolding chaos around him. Suddenly, his wife is dead, he’s in prison, and then subjected to the government’s final solution–a mind-altering technique that would change anyone from who they are to anyone they want them to be. A rescue is attempted, but Eugene’s own fears become his worst enemy..His friends must convince him to go to New America and face the shocking truth about what destroyed his world.

My thoughts...

2065. The world is dying except for the Fortress. Eugene has caused the catastrophe and is struggling with whether to join the Fortress or stay in the dying world. Things worsen and'd better hold on to your seat...this awesome novel will give you the chills. Can he trust the government or are they behind a plan to destroy those who won't go with the flow? Eugene realizes he can't trust all.

What a fantastic read! Loved it!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.